Little Egret with yellow legs and feet

To: Mick Roderick <>, Birding Aus <>
Subject: Little Egret with yellow legs and feet
From: Nikolas Haass <>
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2008 05:45:22 -0700 (PDT)
Mick, Mike et al.,

I am not sure if I just imagine ornamental plumes on the hindneck? If so, they 
would already rule out Intermediate Egret and some other candidates. I also 
think the long and slender bill wouldn't really fit to an Intermediate Egret. 
In the field Intermediate looks to me always like a "hybrid between Great Egret 
and Cattle Egret".
I also don't like the bill shape for the Indian Ocean form of Western Reef 
Egret (schistacea). And the bird is definitely too elegant to be an Eastern 
Reef Egret. I have no experience with Chinese Egret...

I think this bird does not really look bad for a juvenile Little Egret - even 
of the Australian ssp. immaculata. 

However, my reputation is that I like to confuse things! Here we go: Your bird 
strongly reminds me of the infamous "Stanpit egret" described in an article by 
Graham Armstrong in Birding World 1998. This bird - in direct comparison to 
"normal" juv. Little Egrets - was never identified to species level!


Nikolas Haass

Sydney, NSW

----- Original Message ----
From: Mick Roderick <>
To: Birding Aus <>
Cc: Allan Richardson <>
Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2008 6:54:33 PM
Subject: Little Egret with yellow legs and feet

Hi all,

There was an interesting Little Egret at Mason Park (Sydney) today with yellow 
feet and olive-yellow colouring on the legs (particularly the back of the 
legs). A couple of (poor) images can be seen at:

Has anybody else noticed Little Egrets with this much yellow in the legs? All 
of the references I looked at failed to really mention this, though I did find 
a line in HANZAB saying "Sometimes legs and feet, greenish-yellow" (which is 
referenced to Coates's "The Birds of Papua New Guinea Vol 1.").

I did entertain the possibility of it being a nominate race bird, but have 
discounted that now (unless someone can convince me otherwise). I have other 
fotos, but none of high quality.

The Pectoral Sandpiper was still present, along with 2 PGPlovers and a Latham's 

Mick Roderick

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